Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is looking for the youth vote, and one of the ways he plans to do it is by addressing student loans. Specifically, he thinks the federal government should not be profiting off of its student loan lending.
“That’s probably one of the only things the government shouldn’t make money off — I think it’s terrible that one of the only profit centers we have is student loans,” said Trump in an interview with The Hill.
“One of the biggest questions I get is from people in college [about student loans],” he stated. “They’re in college — they’re doing well but they’ve got student loans up to the neck. They’re swimming in these loans.”
Though Trumps words on the subject are very promising, the actual impact could be fleeting…
What’s Next for the Student Debt Debate?
Trump’s statements are very similar to those of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. For years she has advocated that the government should not be profiting on student loans. With Trump now leading the Republican field, it appears that there is at least a glimmer of hope for a consensus that student loans should not be a government profit center. The question then becomes how does the excess money collected get back to the students.
If nothing else, Trump sounding off on student loans can help bring more attention to the issue. While most pundits seem to agree that he has no shot at winning the republican primary, what he says seems to generate plenty of attention. Any attention on the subject of student loans is a good thing.
Trump’s Record on Student Advocacy
Mr. Trump’s biggest foray into the area of higher education is probably the now defunct Trump University. Though advertised as a University, the company was not accredited and did not confer degrees or credits. Trump himself has been the subject of multiple lawsuits from former students and the New York Attorney General. Allegedly, Trump University didn’t use professors handpicked by Trump, but instead hired salesman tasked with constantly “upsetting” students to more expensive programs.
With this history, it will likely be difficult for Mr. Trump to advocate for former students who may have been mislead into taking out unnecessary student loans.
The Bottom Line
The seriousness of the Donald Trump candidacy may be up for debate, but the media spotlight that follows him around is for real. The more time Mr. Trump spends on the subject of student loans, the more attention the issue will get.